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Biochem Soc Trans. 2011 Dec;39(6):1770-4. doi: 10.1042/BST20110694.

Reproductive aging: insights from model organisms.

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Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA.


Aging was once thought to be the result of a general deterioration of tissues as opposed to their being under regulatory control. However, investigations in a number of model organisms have illustrated that aspects of aging are controlled by genetic mechanisms and are potentially manipulable, suggesting the possibility of treatment for age-related disorders. Reproductive decline is one aspect of aging. In model organisms and humans of both sexes, increasing age is associated with both a decline in the number of progeny and an increased incidence of defects. The cellular mechanisms of reproductive aging are not well understood, although a number of factors, both intrinsic and extrinsic to an organism's germline, may contribute to aging phenotypes. Recent work in a variety of organisms suggests that nuclear organization and nuclear envelope proteins may play a role in these processes.

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